American Jewish History: 1492 - 2001|
Fall 2009 not offered
|Certificates: International Relations, Jewish and Israel Studies|
What has the United States meant for Jews? Nearly all of the Jews who came to these shores were impoverished, had poor prospects for advancement and/or suffered persecution in their homelands. This was as true in the seventeenth century as it was in the 19th and 20th centuries. They found their circumstances in the English colonies, and later in the United States, to be quite different. Although at certain times and places Jews were disdained and subject to discrimination, for the most part they enjoyed religious liberty, suffered no political restrictions, and had considerable economic opportunities.
Why have gentiles in America tended to be more philo-Semitic than their counterparts in other nations? What were the sources of anti-Semitism in America, and how did Jews react when bigotry intensified during the late 19th and early 20th centuries? How did American Jews conceive of their lives in America, the future there, and their former homelands? How did they respond when new, more traditional Jews from other parts of Europe arrived in the U.S.? How have Judaism and Jewish mores changed in America? How have Jewish marital and family practices changed in America? What was the role of Jews in American politics in the19th and 20th centuries? How did American Jewish immigrants' lives and cultures compare to that of other minorities? And how, in turn, has the United States been changed by the Jews?
These are the kinds of questions we will consider in this course. Although British North America and the U.S. will be our principal concern, we will also discuss Jews elsewhere in the Americas, in Europe, in the Middle East, and in Africa and Asia.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AMST)(CJST-MN)(HIST-MN)(SISP-Hist Conc)
Hasia R. Diner, The Jews of the United States, 1654 to 2000 (2004);
Paul Mendes-Flohr and Jehuda Reinharz, ed., The Jew in the Modern World: A Documentary History
Irving Howe, World of Our Fathers (1976)
Deborah Dash Moore, At Home in America; Second Generation New York Jews (1981)
Henry Feingold, Bearing Witness: How America and its Jews Responded to the Holocaust (1995)
Plus articles and primary documents.
|Examination and Assignments: |
Mid-term essay, research essay (10-15 pp), weekly questions for discussion
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